276 Indians affected by coronavirus abroad; govt working on their return

In Iran alone, 255 Indians are getting treated for COVID-19 infection whereas there are a dozen in UAE

Data provided by the Ministry of External Affairs shows how the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on overseas Indians with its devastating impact across continents. Photo: PTI

As many as 276 Indians have been affected by COVID-19 outside the country. Of this, 255 are in Iran where most of them had gone for Ziyarat pilgrimage.

There are a dozen Indians in the UAE with confirmed coronavirus infection, according to information collated by the Centre.

Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Rwanda and Kuwait are other countries where Indians have confirmed coronavirus infections — one each according to information provided by the Centre in Lok Sabha.

While a large number of Indians — almost 1,500 at last count —  from China, Italy and Iran have already been brought back to India, latest data indicates that 5 Indians with confirmed COVID-19 infection are still in Italy, one of the worst affected countries.

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Since flight services between India and countries worst affected by coronavirus are not operational now, these 276 Indians are undergoing treatment in the respective countries.

Consultations are now on to find ways to bring them back to India and safely move them to isolated wards for treatment.

After they are cured and declared fit for discharge from medical facilities, they will be monitored at isolated facilities meant to prevent the further spread of the virus that has affected all parts of the globe.

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in India rose to 147, including 122 Indians and 24 foreign nationals, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirmed on Wednesday (March 18).

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Maharashtra, which reported a new case of coronavirus on Wednesday, taking its number of cases to 47, is the worst hit.

Apart from the pilgrims in Iran infected by COVID-19, there are a large number of fishermen from India who are waiting to be rescued.

Having already brought back some students and fishermen from Iran after making sure they were not affected by coronavirus, the government is now discussing ways to help those infected by COVID-19, that has wreaked havoc in Iran with a large number of casualties.

In addition, students stuck in countries like the Philippines and Malaysia have also requested the government to rescue them and bring them back to the country.

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